What role should ideologies play in scientific research/studies

  • #36
RogueOne
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Well, they certainly try to use science in love etc, but some would say that these people have a very limited reductionist worldview, who don't understand the purpose and limitations of thought, for example the whole "love is just a chemical reaction in the brain" and similar attitudes. One can argue that beauty, love etc. are not things that can be "explained."

You can accurately understand aspects of love based on the evolutionary/biological perspective. Perceptions of beauty and love can be explained to varying degrees (health, genetic qualitities, biological role, survival of offspring etc etc) . The phenomena can be explained through evolutionary cause and effect. The chemical levels and brain activity are observable and measureable. They can be replicated in experiments, although they are quite extensive. The results are predictable, to a reasonable degree of accuracy, with enough background information and control over the experiment.
 
  • #37
jack action
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Categorically, no. "Superior force" is not even a coherent definition to begin with.
This is a scientific forum. Show the research(es) that proves that a god - or gods - didn't create the world as we know it.

Don't count on me to prove the contrary either, especially that I don't believe in it. Still, it is an open question that may never be answered.

The answer to this question lies only in the beliefs of the person who answers it.

The conclusion cannot be adjusted to fit the theory. That is contrived. Nothing that is influenced by ideology can be considered science.

Unless your ideology is and only is the scientific method, of course.
It is not because you believe in something that it means that you will adjust everything around you to fit your beliefs. That is dishonesty and it can happen in the scientific world as well. Heck, even Einstein manipulated some of his equations because he couldn't believe the results he obtained. And that wasn't even out of dishonesty.

When I was young, I thought that if I've thrown a ball with a curvy motion, the ball would have followed the curvy path, even though I've thrown plenty of balls. In high school, one of my teacher knew that not only me but most of us kids thought that way. He showed us that our beliefs were wrong and we all changed our minds upon proof and explanation. Believing in something doesn't necessarily mean that we are stubborn.
 
  • #38
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This thread needs to reverse the direction it's in regarding discussion of religion and gods. If not we will be forced to close shop in accordance to our guidelines.
 
  • #39
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Still, prior to science gaining a track-record, it required a certain amount of faith that science would consistently work and be superior to other more established methods of acquiring knowledge and making decisions/judgements about the world. So I still think the line that separates science from ideology is awfully thin.
Science has a great track record, but that track record is measured using... science. If you dismiss science, or parts of it, it is not hard to dismiss the great track record as well. Those people then view science as ideology. As something you have to believe in, or not.
Ideology/philosophy plays a key role in the pursuit of science through what is deemed a priority and what is deemed to be unacceptable methodology. Most people would agree that it's more important to fund research into diseases that are more common and more debilitating than those that are not. And most people would agree that performing experiments on humans without their consent is unacceptable.
I like this answer. Science cannot answer questions like "can we perform experiments on humans without their consent?", "in which way or how long can we grow embryos for research?". Research can tell us the consequences of each decision, but the decision cannot be done on a purely scientific basis because it is a moral question.
 
  • #40
epenguin
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We are all agreed aren't we? I am scientific, rational and right. You/he have an ideology.
 
  • #41
Work Hard Play Hard
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I fully agree with you about the significance and educational value of methodology as well as history and philosophy of science. So many people today—and even professional scientists—seem to me like somebody who has seen thousands of trees but has never seen a forest. A knowledge of the historic and philosophical background gives that kind of independence from prejudices of his generation from which most scientists are suffering. This independence created by philosophical insight is—in my opinion—the mark of distinction between a mere artisan or specialist and a real seeker after truth. (Einstein to Thornton, 7 December 1944, EA 61-574)
 
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  • #42
dkotschessaa
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This is a scientific forum.

In which we address scientifically coherent questions.

Show the research(es) that proves that a god - or gods - didn't create the world as we know it.

The question is incoherent. To prove or disprove things you need definitions. The things you are talking about are not defined, therefore cannot be addressed in a scientific manner. Stick to science, please.

-Dave K

We are all agreed aren't we? I am scientific, rational and right. You/he have an ideology.

I think ideologies are like water to a fish. You don't know you have one when you are swimming in it. Since we are rational scientific thinkers, we of course are above this whole having an ideology thing. We're just right.

But I do think that the belief that truth is testable is the basic ideology of science. Many people just don't believe this. We take it for granted because it seems axiomatically true, thus we don't really consider it an ideology.

-Dave K
 
  • #43
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I consider things such as astrology and alchemy to be part of the scientific way. With time, as science evolved, they were proven to be wrong, but we would of never got astronomy and chemistry without them. Anyway, what were the odds that we figured out nature on our first try?

They were proven wrong until they were proven right.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-lead-can-be-turned-into-gold/

Not a challenge here Jack. I'm with you on this. How's this for a definition, denying the need for ideologies is in itself an ideology.
 
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  • #44
jack action
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The question is incoherent. To prove or disprove things you need definitions. The things you are talking about are not defined, therefore cannot be addressed in a scientific manner. Stick to science, please.

Let's go back to a less touchy subject that was introduced earlier: Beauty. Do you have a coherent definition for it? Do you think people looking for one are not scientists even though they claim to be?

But maybe beauty is not scientific enough. I wonder what you would have thought of J. J. Thompson's work back in the days. He had thought of different models for the atom (That's right, he changed his mind going from the nebular atom to the plum pudding model). He couldn't show any valid scientific proof for any of his models because, of course, they were simply wrong. Who could of think - at the time - that it could be "testable" one day? Isn't that the definition of an ideology? Would you classify his work as "not scientific" even though his work inspired his former student to discover the true atomic model?

Going back to the OP's question, I think ideologies plays a major role in scientific researches and studies. People being stubborn about their beliefs, while in the presence of proof of the contrary, is a whole other matter.

They were proven wrong until they were proven right.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-lead-can-be-turned-into-gold/

Not a challenge here Jack. I'm with you on this. How's this for a definition, denying the need for ideologies is in itself an ideology.
You are right, it just proves one thing: Ideologies do inspire scientific research.
 
  • #45
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I think ideologies are like water to a fish. You don't know you have one when you are swimming in it. Since we are rational scientific thinkers, we of course are above this whole having an ideology thing. We're just right.

But I do think that the belief that truth is testable is the basic ideology of science. Many people just don't believe this. We take it for granted because it seems axiomatically true, thus we don't really consider it an ideology.

-Dave K
Such an overused analogy. We "swim" in air, and we know about air. Even the ancient Greeks had a concept of air.

I don't see a belief that truth is testable. I see a "belief" that theories are testable. But that "belief" is based on countless things that did test theories. It is also part of the requirement of theories: they have to be testable.
 
  • #46
dkotschessaa
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Let's go back to a less touchy subject that was introduced earlier: Beauty. Do you have a coherent definition for it? Do you think people looking for one are not scientists even though they claim to be?

Trying to define something clearly is scientific. Trying to prove the existence or non-existence of something without first having defined it is not, especially when that something carries with it extraordinary claims.

-Dave K

Such an overused analogy. We "swim" in air, and we know about air. Even the ancient Greeks had a concept of air.

You used a straw man to knock down an analogy. Sheesh!

I don't see a belief that truth is testable. I see a "belief" that theories are testable. But that "belief" is based on countless things that did test theories. It is also part of the requirement of theories: they have to be testable.

You can adjust the language, but it's still a belief that not everyone holds. Science illiterate people believe that truth is "subjective" and that you should "respect people for what they believe," and that there are "things that science can't explain" therefore [insert explanation - argumantum ad ignorantium].

There was that awful debate with Ken Hamm and bill Nye, but the last minute of it summed it up well. When Bill Nye was asked what would change his mind he said "evidence," and when Ken Hamm was asked the same question he said "nothing." i.e. some people just don't believe in evidence.

-Dave K
 
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  • #47
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You can adjust the language, but it's still a belief that not everyone holds.
You don't need to believe. It is objectively true that we can test theories. It is a fact not everyone is aware of.
Switch on your computer. Does it work? Clearly we understand physics well enough to make computers. Same for everything else.

Ken Ham makes money with his nonsense, clearly he won't stop arguing for it.
 
  • #48
dkotschessaa
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You don't need to believe. It is objectively true that we can test theories. It is a fact not everyone is aware of.

Switch on your computer. Does it work? Clearly we understand physics well enough to make computers. Same for everything else.

Ken Ham makes money with his nonsense, clearly he won't stop arguing for it.

Well, I agree with you on most of your points, but the bits we disagree on will not be resolved without the thread degrading into philosophy and stuff like "what is a belief?" etc. So I'll just call it there.

-Dave K
 
  • #49
jack action
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I think there is a basic ideology behind science, which is that truth is testable. This is very different from political or religious ideologies in which it is considered acceptable or even necessary to "respect other's beliefs." In science, this is absurd. We don't respect beliefs - we test them to see whether they are true or not.
Science illiterate people believe that truth is "subjective" and that you should "respect people for what they believe," and that there are "things that science can't explain" therefore [insert explanation - argumantum ad ignorantium].
What I don't like about the affirmations you make is how strong they are, especially about the word "truth" that you throw around a lot and that anyone not agreeing with you doesn't deserve any respect. It sounds a lot like the speeches you dislike.

I agree with you that if evidence of something exists, the opinion of people ignoring it shouldn't be considered. For example, arguing that the sun revolves around the Earth based on old books that predate new knowledge that was found since then is unscrupulous.

But there was one time when nobody could state without any doubt if the sun revolved around the Earth or the Earth revolved around the sun. This is the time when respect of others beliefs is important. If there wasn't that whole Christianity thing that blocked the exploration of ideas for a 1000 years or so, we probably would have discover what we now know a lot sooner. That is the reason we should advocate for the respect of other people's beliefs, when we are in unknown territories.

Using a more contemporary problem (but still science related), do you like your space stringy or loopy?

 
  • #50
epenguin
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"I'll just call it there."

Don't go, don't go! I was just about to make a suggestion to bring this back on scientific rails.
Firstly we shouldn't quite confuse 'ideology' with philosophy or epistemology. People have strayed amongst these things a bit indiscriminately IMHO.
Secondly both in science and in philosophy we need actual examples of the things we are discussing. I don't think we have actually had any yet. I wonder what the OP thought were ideologies?
Then the examples ought not to be just easy targets - fairly ridiculous beliefs, or ones which never gained any traction in science.
Instead hiw about ossibly the philosophies of ideologies of Skinner and behaviouralism? Of Schottky, intelligence testing and the like? Galton, Pearson, and various eugenics also proclaiming themselves scientific but highly ideological? When I read of such a thing as a gay gene, or genetically determined criminality, it makes me think of what philosophy calls 'Category Error'. How about feminism in science - the feminist critique of the historic or present nature of the scientific enterprise?

The Great Saint of anti-ideology and of scientific methodology was Karl Popper. In my time I've had basinfuls of him thrown at me! One trouble was, mind you, that it was always a dumbed-down version of him. His thing was based in the first place on reaction against an ideology, now almost a dead letter or maybe just lying low, but he generalised this reaction to be against all totalising philosophies or ideologies. He extended his philosophy not just to laboratory science but to ideas about society in general – and I question whether his generalisation is not also ideological? And even totalitarian in the way it is all so often made out that he has provided the definitive unquestionable answer to all questions?

Anyway anyone want to take up at least one specific and nontrivial example of an ideology, otherwise what is the OP going to write about?
 
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  • #51
dkotschessaa
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What I don't like about the affirmations you make is how strong they are, especially about the word "truth" that you throw around a lot and that anyone not agreeing with you doesn't deserve any respect. It sounds a lot like the speeches you dislike.

Where did I say anything about people disagreeing with me not deserving respect?
 
  • #52
jack action
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Where did I say anything about people disagreeing with me not deserving respect?
My sentence is badly formulated and I know it is not what you meant, but it is the feeling I get from what you were saying. It really sounds like those religious people that say "If you don't refer to the Good Book, you're not worth my time." Which is a strong statement that have for only objective to shut up the other person. And I'm sure it is not your intent, but that's how it sounds on my end.

To me, science is about open minds and freedom to say anything, even stupid stuff (You know, like "There are no stupid questions"). If something is so ridiculous, coming from someone who likes to hear himself talk, you just state your argument and be done with it. Let the people decide what they think is best for them. And if you claim you're holding the truth, you sounds just like the other guy.

If you start labeling "good" from "bad", then you have just given an argument to those people who will use it against you (You are the "bad" one, they're the "good" ones) which just leads to useless circular argumentation.
 
  • #53
Evo
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The OP has not returned to PF since he started the thread, looks like we might have scared him away. I think we've kind of beaten this topic to death. If the OP does return, he has three pages of arguments to pick from. :smile: Thread closed.
 
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